Confessions of a Fangirl
by Kirsten S. Blacketer
Life is good. I have a plush job, supportive friends, and a close-knit family. When the new hottie at the office asks me out on a date, I think I just won the jackpot.
Until movie night with the girls leads me down a dark rabbit hole. Who is he? An innocent Google search about a handsome actor has my imagination spinning. Now I’m drowning, and I don’t want salvation. I want him.
But I already have the perfect man. This obsession might just ruin my life.
“Hot! Hot! Hot!” I juggle the hot cookie sheet between my mitt-covered hands. I seem to forget to buy new ones until I pull something from the oven and the heat seeps through the thinning fabric. Once the tray is safely on the stovetop, I pull off the offending mitts and set them aside. The sweet aroma of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies fills the apartment.
Where are they? I pick up my phone and check to see if I missed a message from the girls. Nothing. Only five after six. They should be here any minute.
My fingers hover over the messages button. Shaun’s name on the screen hypnotizes me and in a flash, I’m back in the pizzeria, just the two of us. I want to send him a message, so he knows I’m thinking about him. But maybe that’s too weird. I mean, we only met this week, and already it feels like whatever sparked between us the other night is barreling toward a raging inferno at critical speed. I shake my head and set the phone aside. No. I’ll wait for him to text me.
I mean he spoke to me at work yesterday, so there’s something there, right? Before the seeds of doubt can burrow into my soft, anxious brain, the doorbell rings.
Pushing thoughts of Shaun aside, I rush to open the door.
Lily and Maggie’s grinning faces greet me.
“I thought you forgot about me.” I pout and step aside.
They push past me and drop their bags on the table.
“Oh honey, I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Lily turns with a cherry-lipped smirk. “You refused to dish on your impromptu dinner the other night.” She winks. “Was it the new guy?”
My face warms. Betrayed by my own body. I sidestep into the kitchen to get plates out of the cabinet. “His name is Shaun.”
“I knew it!” She bounces up and down. Today she’s sporting a cute pair of navy trousers and a warm, deep red cable knit sweater. Vintage, all of it, I’d put money on it. This girl and her classy style put us all to shame. “So,” she pushes, practically salivating, “What’s the deal? You two hook up?”
I avoid eye contact and set the plates down.
When my back is turned, Maggie chimes in. “Wait! Hold the phone. Who’s Shaun?”
Lily’s animated chatter sparks to life. “He’s the new Head of Marketing and a stone-cold fox. Oh my god. Seriously. So hot.”
Maggie’s expression vacillates between surprise and hurt. “Why am I only hearing about this now?”
“Jen’s holding out on us.” Lily pouts playfully and opens the Chinese food container with those perfectly manicured hands.
Maggie grabs a plate, but her gaze remains fixed on me while Lily starts doling out servings. Her piercing stare could level a grown-ass man. I wonder if she ever uses this glare on her bosses at Solus? She’s talked about her single bosses, Mr. Ben Statler and Mr. Evan Waldorf, but neither Lily nor I had the pleasure to meet them in person. But we knew all about their reputations as Mr. Grump and Mr. Sunshine thanks to Maggie. Judging from the pictures on their website, they fit those monikers perfectly as well.
We often tease her about snatching one of them up to which we’re immediately interrupted with an ever-growing laundry list of reasons why neither man is worth her time. For a personal assistant in a multi-million-dollar company, diminutive Maggie packs a mean punch with her purple and teal highlights and don’t-bullshit-me attitude. Most people find her cute and often make the mistake of treating her like one would an unruly child or rebellious teenager. That’s their first mistake. Now she turns her intense stare on me.
I exhale in defeat knowing I will get no peace until their curiosity is sated with every juicy detail. “Fine.”
We load our plates with our favorite assortment of foods and retreat to the small living room. I take the oversized chair while Lily and Maggie sit on the narrow couch. Between bites, I tell them everything from the moment Shaun collided with me in the hallway to his friendly greeting yesterday morning in the break room.
Their rapt attention is punctuated with random questions. At this point, I can’t tell whether they’re impressed or concerned by the speed at which this whole relationship is hurtling like a bullet train into the great unknown.
“When was the last time you heard from him?” Lily sets her plate on the coffee table, picks up an empty glass, and pours the wine I put on the table in preparation for movie night.
“Yesterday at work.” I ignore the urge to pull out my phone and skim through the messages again. “Should I text him?”
“Yes,” Lily responds just as Maggie says the opposite.
“No,” Maggie repeats. “Don’t push it. Let it play out.”
Lily looks torn. “I mean, it is moving fast but don’t be too distant. I know there are a lot of girls at the office who are dying to get their hooks into him.”
I groan at the uncertainty driving a wedge between my common sense and my desperation to make it work.
“Jen, you two will be banging by next weekend.” Maggie grins. “Then you’ll be all about Shaun and forget all about us.”
Lily nods, her curls bouncing and eyes wide.
“You know me. I would never put a guy ahead of my friends.” I smirk. “Even if he is handsome and charming.”
“I am glad you finally found someone worth investing time in.” Maggie pours herself a glass of wine. “Those last few were losers.”
I wave my hand as though trying to chase away any possibility of the horrific memories of the last handful of idiots I went out on dates with. “Can we not talk about it? You promised you wouldn’t bring up my shame.” I pour myself a glass. “Besides, your track record isn’t the best either there, honey.”
Maggie shrugs. “I’ve given up all hope of finding someone worthwhile.”
“It’ll hit you one day when you’re not expecting it.” Lily nods sagely.
“Don’t jinx yourself, Lily.” I chuckle.
She sighs wistfully. “Someday my prince will come.”
“Dude, you sound like a fairy tale princess, knock it off.” Maggie jabs her with an elbow nearly spilling Lily’s wine.
Lily sticks out her tongue, which Maggie mimics.
“Okay, children, can we watch our movie now?” I grab the remote on the stand and turn the power on.
“Yes, please.” Lily claps and pulls a blanket across her lap.
Maggie leans back and sips her wine. “Proceed.”
I turn on Prime and find the movie we agreed upon. Source of Destiny. A newish science fiction spin on the superhero genre one of my other coworkers, Mike from supply, recommended a few weeks ago when he overheard me and Lily talking about movie night. Once I find it, I hit play and settle back in my oversized comfy chair.
Movie night with the girls is my favorite night of the week. It’s relaxed and comfortable. Yeah, we banter and argue about stupid shit while drinking wine and watching ridiculous movies. Sometimes we even get in debates about how hot an actor is or how idiotic a plot turns out to be. But that’s half the fun of it. Nothing’s too serious and in the end, we’re just friends spending time together and having a blast.
“What’s this about again?” Maggie wrinkles her nose as the movie starts dark and ominous.
“It’s a superhero flick set in space.” Lily’s voice cuts through the increasing tempo of the music.
“Who’s in it?” Maggie asks.
“I have no idea.” I shake my head.
“Looks like a B-rated space opera.” Maggie giggles.
“Shhh.” Lily jabs her with a finger.
Twenty minutes into the film, and we’re all sucked into the action. Then it happens.
The villain reveals himself, and suddenly I can’t think of anything but how sexy he is. I shift in my seat and my body warms at the deceptively seductive monologue surrounding me. His dark charm. A sinful voice. It burrows beneath my skin. How is any of this logical? Getting all worked up over a fictional character.
I shove it aside and focus on the story. But as the film continues, I find myself cheering for the villain. He’s tortured and brooding…which does not make him a suitable candidate for a relationship, I remind myself.
The rest of the film passes in a blur of action and cathartic release. There’s obviously room for expansion with more films. I’m curious to see if there are more with the villain since he wasn’t defeated in this one.
“Well, that was interesting.” Maggie stands and carries dishes into the kitchen.
“How exciting!” Lily takes the empty wine bottle and puts it in the recycling can. “I wonder if they made a sequel.”
“Look it up.” Maggie’s voice carries over the sound of running water. She washes the dishes as I put away the leftovers.
“I’ll check it later.” I place the containers in the refrigerator.
We make quick work of cleaning up. Maggie and Lily grab their coats.
“Thanks for coming over, guys.” I open the door for them.
“Of course.” Lily hugs me. “See you on Monday.”
“Unless I don’t survive dinner with my family.”
“Oh, I forgot about that. Your place tomorrow, isn’t it?” Maggie wraps a scarf around her neck.
“Yeah.” I shrug. “It’ll be okay, as long as Mom doesn’t freak about the mashed potatoes and Dad doesn’t remind me for the twentieth time to install a security camera outside the door.”
“Awww, he’s just worried about you.” Lily grins.
“Your parents are being little shits,” Maggie adds with a wink. “Tell them to get over it. They’re in your house now.”
I shake my head. “Do you two want to run interference tomorrow for me then?”
Both girls shake their heads vehemently.
“I didn’t think so.” I laugh. “Good night.”
“Night.” Lily bounds down the stairs.
“Later, doll.” Maggie follows suit.
Once the door is locked, I grab my phone. No new messages. Damn. He’s probably busy getting settled in. I head for the bathroom and flip on the shower.
After a warm, aromatic soak, I curl up under the covers and open the internet browser on my phone. In the search engine, I type the name of the movie and add villain to the end of the proffered search. Enter.
In a flash of pixels, I’m sucked into his world and I want to know everything about him. I scan through the articles and see the character’s name, Captain Korbin Ransom.
I click on the IMDb listing, curiosity coursing through my every fiber, and find the actor’s name.
Down the rabbit hole I tumble.
Kirsten S. Blacketer is a multi-published indie author of both steamy historical and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she homeschools her two children and enjoys time with her family. In those moments of freedom, she devours romance novels while sipping a glass of wine. Age has only shown her that writing villains can be just as fun as heroes. Her next life goals are to write a New York Times Bestseller and one day have Adam Driver play a starring role in a film version of one of her books. A girl can dream, right?
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